BOSTON (WHDH) - Just days after officials announced the death of the mother swan on Boston’s Esplanade, the father swan was photographed caring for their cygnets as he gave them a ride on his back across the lagoon.

Matthew Raifman captured the heartwarming photo of the cygnets hitching a ride on their father’s back on Thursday, he said in a Facebook post.

Three of the cygnets could be seen nestled in between dad’s wings, while a fourth cygnet trailed behind them in the water.

“Thought I’d share one of the most heartbreaking and heartwarming stories in a while,” Raifman wrote. “This papa swan, left to his own, is rising to the challenge.”

Officials on Thursday said that they were unable to determine the cause of death for the mother swan.

A necropsy performed on Wednesday revealed that the swan was in “good body condition” with no signs of external trauma, wounds, broken bones, or evidence of bruising. No foreign material was found in its oral cavity, the GI tract did not show any evidence of non-food material, and its organs and air sacs were of normal size and shape.

The mother swan hatched the family of cygnets in late May.

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